The Y Project Begins!

By Erica

This week I started working on the Y Archive Project. It’s quite an exciting endeavour, I have to say. I have found so many interesting stories, and minor controversies. Among my favourites have been the War Funds documents, which ask Y members to give generously to the war effort. The 1940 Annual Ball donated its proceeds to the local regiment to buy hockey equipment for its soldiers. It’s funny to see how much the humour and approach to fundraising has changed from the 1930s to today. They really got everyone together, to go door to door and help collect money for annual campaigns. The cartoons, the rules, the instructions for camp counsellors and journalists (a real hoot!) are all instrumental to the Y’s history. I am curious to see in the coming weeks what else I find in the vault and in the basement. Photographs? More artefacts? Scandals? Who knows!

2 Comments to “The Y Project Begins!”

  1. Uriel Rosenzweig says:

    I served as Membership Secretary of the YM-YWHA of Montreal on three separate occasions under three different executive directors. In that post I was also editor of the Y Beacon. I grew up in the Y and have fond memories of that organization and the friendships I’ve made as a member and on staff. But I only developed an appreciation of communal archives after I moved to Edmonton in 1969 to become executive director of the Jewish Community Council, UJA and Jewish Youth Centre. As we were affiliated with Congress I formed the Archives Commitee of the Council. To make a long story short, years after I changed jobs I became the founding president of the Jewish Archives and Historical Society of Edmonton and Northern Alberta, which published my book The first Century of Jewish Life in Edmonton and Northern Alberta – which has since sold out. Since then I’ve often thought of moving back to Montreal to produce a history of the Y before all records, memories are lost, destroyed, and a great history lost because of deaths of so many who were involved in that fine organization. Unfortunately, circumstances did not allow for me to return and undertake such a project. I commend Erica for commencing such an exciting research of the Y archives.

  2. admin says:

    Dear Mr. Rosenzweig,

    Thank you so much for your comments. The Jewish Archives and Historical Society of Edmonton and Northern Alberta is a wonderful organization. We follow your wonderful programmes with great interest at the JPL-A. We will continue to add material from the Y so please do continue to check back!

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